ALBEMARLE — With the high school softball season passing its halfway point, two of Stanly County’s five varsity teams remain undefeated and hold first-place positions in their respective conference standings.
The West Stanly Colts (9-0, 8-0) currently lead the Rocky River Conference, while the South Stanly Rowdy Rebel Bulls (7-0, 6-0) are the frontrunner in the Yadkin Valley Conference. The two schools are scheduled to face off in Oakboro on April 26 in a battle between the county’s top teams.
Excluding last year’s campaign (which was canceled after three games due to COVID-19), the Colts are only a season removed from 2019’s conference-winning 28-2 record and a 2A softball state championship thanks to a 3-0 win over Eastern Randolph.
So far this season, the Colts have put together four home wins with five road wins, outscoring their opponents by a wide margin of 101-9.
However, West Stanly’s latest matchup — a 4-2 road win over Anson (6-3, 6-3 RRC) that required extra innings — was the closest finish the Colts have experienced this season. The win extended the Colts’ lead in the RRC standings over the second-ranked Bearcats.
Senior Shelby Barbee has led the Colts at the plate with a .517 batting average, 15 hits, 15 RBIs and four home runs. On the mound, senior pitcher Jordan Hatch has held Colts’ opponents to only eight earned runs and a .149 batting average in 51 innings pitched.
While West Stanly’s most recent performance was a tight finish, South Stanly’s latest game was a 16-0 blowout victory over South Davidson (0-4, 0-6 YVC) in which freshman Mary Hinson pitched a perfect game; not a single Wildcat player managed to get on base.
Senior Emma Crump has led the Bulls’ offensive charge this year with a .444 batting average, 12 hits and nine RBIs. As a team, South Stanly has recorded a .376 batting average with five players batting over .400.
Senior Sadie Lee and junior Ali Glover have handled the bulk of the Bulls’ pitching duties with ERAs of 0.54 and 1.00, respectively. As a team, South Stanly has scored 70 runs while allowing only seven.
The Bulls are currently on their way to duplicate their undefeated 2019 season where they ran away with a conference championship and made a deep playoff run. After a 6-5 postseason loss to North Stokes, the Bulls finished that season 22-3 overall.
The other three Stanly County softball teams — Gray Stone (2-4, 2-2), North Stanly (2-3, 2-3) and Albemarle (1-2, 1-2) — are all sitting in the middle of the pack in the YVC standings. Chatham Central (6-1, 4-1) is holding the second-place position behind the Bulls, who came away with a 2-1 home win over the Bears back on March 29.